It pays to waste--changing the model -Reply

George Dreckmann (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:00:43 -0500

One answer to the funding delimia is to size new landfills with some
waste reduction in mind. It may not be an easy sell, but it is one way to
incorporate waste reduction into the system.

I am very reluctant to encourage a system that has no government
owned landfill in it, just a trasnfer station at the back end. Given the long
term liability problems of dry tomb landfills, we cannot rely on the private
sector to be around when the landfills finally cause problems.

Regarding the economics of pay as you throw systems... My study of
implementing such a system in Madison, Wi found that the big winners
under a trasnfer of costs from the property tax to a fee were in fact the
businesses. Assuming that the property tax would be reduced dollar for
dollar by the fee, business' property tax would go down but they would
see no corresponding fee increase as they are already paying fees for
refuse collection. Sooooo, the progressivity arguement of a PAYT
system is not necessarily true. (Is is more progressive than the property
tax? Yes, but margainlly so.)